“Easier Done Than Said”

My father loved the show last night. I think he was very emotionally caught up in the stories Bill was telling about being growing up gay in Montana, feeling the isolation, and the loss of his partner from AIDS in the 90’s. I watched him laugh at all the Montana character studies. When it was over he said it was very sad. I saw the show differently last night, because this time I was watching it through the eyes of my father and I found the play much more emotionally riveting then I ever have. Bill talks about growing up in a world there actions speak louder then words and paints a very harsh reality of living in an era of not being able to communicate. In one particular instance he talks about his father hiring a sky writer to write across the western sky “ I love you Vern” to his mother before he died “Easier done than said.” I think the bane of many gay men is that we don’t know how to break that silence with our families. It seems to become tougher to communicate. Yesterday someone commented about not being able to talk to my father who gave me birth yet I am able to honestly put it out there to strangers. This has been on my mind all morning. Bill said when his mother saw the show, and he is very blunt and honest in talking about their family dynamics growing up, that she never said anything to him about any of it but that she had talked to everyone else. Perhaps we see ourselves and life differently then others perceive us. We all live so closely and want to view the lives of our siblings as the way we remember them as kids. I have never really shared my private life with other member of my family. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just the way we grew up; we were not much of a family to share those feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I love and adore my father and think he is a remarkable man, he always has been. I know he admires me and has told me. I am just very unconventional to his norm. It’s hard to get the concept of my identity when I have had such a struggling coming to terms of understanding my own identity. Glenn’s Aunt Ruth, who is older than my father, has been following this blog is more of his era, keep saying believe and accept yourself. She seems to be having a hard time with this concept of the identity crisis that we as a gay culture have gone though and why I keep harping on it. But to be gay during my era was a struggle for self-respect, dignity, and understanding. I was isolated from the rest of my peers and dealt with a whole host of socialization issues that create such inner turmoil. Yes the basic human emotions and response should be the same, and they are ever becoming so, but it has not always been this easy. There were no role models, no icons to look up to, no art that showed positive reinforcement that it was OK to be this way. Just desperate whispers in the darkness. It’s one of the reason’s I create what I create, to redefine and show ourselves emerging in a positive light from this darkness. There is light and beauty in this world and I now live a life filled with hope and joy every day, but a part of my history and growth has been the evolution of finding myself. The journey of this project is not always about the present, but part of the memory and pain in exploring how I got to this moment in my existence. It is not meant to be a judgment of myself or others but an honest recounting of one man’s voyage to himself. So in a sense this non-direct communication with my father is not about us at all. It’s about my own identity and how it’s shaped the destiny of what I am becoming and has very little to do with our current relationship. I have to laugh because all after the show last night my dad was doing all these funky mime movements and I knew in my heart he really got it.

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